"Nowhere in the complaint ... did Hardwick allege that any of these defendants, much less every one of them, manufactured any of those five compounds," Kethledge states.
Nor does Hardwick allege, according to the court's opinion, how the five chemicals got into his bloodstream, stating during oral arguments that he did not know if the firefighting foam contained the PFAS chemicals that were found in his blood.
"Indeed, Hardwick failed to offer any argument to that effect in his brief or when questioned specifically about this point at oral argument," Kethledge states in the seven-page dismissal. "He elides rather than meets the Supreme Court's requirements as to pleadings and traceability.
"Hardwick therefore lacks standing to proceed with his claims."
The suit is one of thousands that 3M, DuPont and others have faced over alleged PFAS exposure.
Just in June, for example, 3M reached settlement agreements with public water suppliers throughout the U.S. in which it will pay more than $10.3 billion over the next 13 years to assist with PFAS mitigation efforts. It also is party to a range of other legal actions.
While 3M has pledged to help its customers throughout the transition and meet its contractual obligations during that time, the firm said it "will continue to remediate PFAS and address litigation by defending ourselves in court or through negotiated resolutions, all as appropriate."
In every case, the family of chemicals at issue are PFAS, short for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances.
All PFAS compounds feature strong bonds between carbon and fluorine atoms, however different kinds of PFAS differ as to the length of their carbon chains and isomer type (branched as opposed to linear).
PFAS entered mass production in the 1950s and have been used ever since in myriad applications, including medical devices, automotive interiors, waterproof clothing and outdoor gear, food packaging, firefighting foam, non-stick cookware, ski and car waxes, batteries, semiconductors, aviation and aerospace, construction, paints and varnishes, and building materials.